What happens when you take a completely original story and populate it with two phenomenal actors? That is the question Colossal tries to answer. Anne Hathaway and Jason Sudeikis do their best to make way for this Indie monster drama that, if memory serves, has never been done before. The result of which is a raw, emotional, unique and just plain wonderful story.
This film may have had the most unique plot of the year thus far, however you may not have managed to see its trailer or even any advertising that would point to its existence. If you were fortunate enough to have seen the trailer you would have seen the big plot twist rather quickly. This alone was enough for me to make my way to the local theater and give it a shot. Luckily, Hathaway and Sudeikis managed to deliver on all fronts even managing to bring a few more surprises along the way.
Our story follows Gloria (Hathaway), an out-of-work, semi-alcoholic, that is forced to move back home from New York City to start anew. Upon arrival, she reconnects with an old friend Oscar (Sudeikis) who lets her work in his bar. Things are starting to look up before a strange creature starts attacking Seoul, Korea. It starts to become apparent that she is somehow connected to the attacks and finds herself struggling to hold on to her values and find the strength to stand up to those that are closest to her.
Gloria is a surprisingly complex character. She tends to make decisions you wouldn’t expect or even ones you wish she wouldn’t, more often than not. As the story unfolds it becomes clear that there is a more serious issue being addressed in the film’s subplot than expected. This is where I have to hand it to Hathaway, she manages to add several layers to her character while all the while staying charming and likable. I was also shocked to see just how well Sudeikis, was able to switch into the serious acting mode, considering at this point he has primarily held roles (in film) that were purely comedic and even moronic. He may, in fact, have more to offer us in the future if he can continue to deliver this level of acting.
The Film 4.5/5
Cinematographer Eric Kress, works hand-in-hand with Director Nacho Vigalondo and head of the Music Department Bear McCreary to create these beautifully big moments using the smallest of events to frame them. One of my absolute favorites is the moment Gloria is realizing a grand connection between her and the monster and Kress manages to make the playground feel as though it is a big as Seoul itself. A wonderfully simple and unique effect that frames our story using only a unique angle and the right music. The film is vibrant yet dark at times, Blu-ray makes a perfect vehicle for this film.
Picture Quality 5/5
Bear McCreary tackles the score and music for Colossal. He manages to create a perfect backdrop to a monster flick. One that creates drama and suspense in even the most innocuous moments. This comes, of course, as no surprise considering he worked as the lead on 10 Cloverfield Lane. While that film is about a different kind of monster, it goes to show the exact kind of film this set out to be. What I really love about the music in this film is the ability for the score to make small moments seem big and vice versa. Even at home, there are moments that manage to come through as grand and memorable.
Audio Quality 5/5
I am so very disappointed in the packaging for this release. First of all, it was hard enough to find a copy of the film considering some retailers only received the DVD version and then when I finally found a copy, it was the only left and it has a hologram on the front. I have to say that I find this makes almost any release simply look cheap. It would be one thing if the hologram front was placed in the clear plastic and therefore removable. However this release it is attached firmly to the slipcover, and therefore we have no choice. What makes this even more maddening is the marketing team already had a perfectly good image to use for the release that they used for the theatres. Once we get passed the slipcover, we have a surprisingly sturdy case and it feels extremely well made. The image for the case itself is an improvement but still a miss. Not to mention the awkwardly placed Rotten Tomatoes logo in the midst of everything else happening on the cover. The problem I have it just feels like an afterthought. There may be a whole collective of people out there that love the holographic artwork option, but for me the simple artwork we got to see upon its release, this was a no brainer. A retailer specific steel book or even just a minimalistic cover would have been a better option.
This is just another area that makes me think the entire budget went toward effects rather than, well, literally anything else. What I wanted was something that would add to how the story was conceived or how it felt on the set with Hathaway and Sudeikis. What we got instead was a special feature. A single Deleted Scene. Not only does this leave us asking the question, “why we would go through all the effort to own this hard to find release, instead of waiting for it on streaming?” if there is no incentive to owning the physical copy.
Special Features 1/5
Colossal offers a fresh approach to the monster genre, with a much needed dramatic story-driven plotline. It is entirely possible that the subplot is a bit too on the nose, however, the way it unfolds seem natural. Colossal offers the classic adage that there are monsters in all of us. While Gloria’s monster may seem obvious we soon come to realize that the monsters lying beneath those closest to her are much harder to define. I find it refreshing that films like this are being made and that a list actresses like Anne Hathaway are willing to take a break from your run of the mill big budget film to take chance on more creative endeavors. All in all, Colossal is a great time, from start to finish it takes us in many different directions all of which are entertaining and some of which are cringe worthy. You can purchase this edition HERE.
Overall 3/5 – Worth Owning But Maybe Wait for a Special Release